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I made a decision exactly 1000 days ago today. It’s really not anything special, and tons of other people have made this decision, and so much more. But it was a decision to take back the health I had let slip through my fingers for so many years.

I’ve posted about this enough over the last nearly 3 years. The truth is I’ve been
“in shape” at this point for more of those 1000 days than not. I don’t even really remember what it was like to be 50 lbs overweight anymore. I don’t remember what it was like to not be able to run a 5K whenever I want, or test for my 2nd degree black belt a couple of weeks ago.

The picture on the right is who I am now. It’s who I used to be, but had forgotten. I’m thankful for some of the health scares I had that woke me up. Even though they had nothing to do with being out of shape (viruses, appendicitis, etc…), they still made me aware of how frail we all are, and that, while I may not be able to control whether I get hit by a bus or something else, there are many things I CAN control with my health. Not only myself, but my family deserves that I do all I can do to be healthfully here for as long as I possibly can.

I have nothing to sell you except hope. I’ve used no special diet (I hate that word. I prefer “nutrition plan”), I’ve used no pyramid scheme or shake or supplement. I’ve simply made a daily commitment to my nutrition and exercise plan. Daily. 1000 of them in a row, in fact.

If you find yourself in the place I was 1000 days ago, I simply urge you to start. Be reasonable with your nutrition plan. The 8oz. cheeseburger I ate tonight was fabulous, and I don’t sweat eating it one bit. I wouldn’t have had a problem eating it while I was getting in shape, either.

Those who deprive themselves of foods they enjoy on a regular basis will find themselves overindulging in moments of weakness. Those who are unrealistic in their exercise goals will injure themselves and slip back into a sedentary lifestyle. Those who have milestones in their minds that are not reasonable will find themselves discouraged and giving up before any real breakthrough happens.

You CAN do this! You GOT this! It’s up to YOU!

Just start! And, if you stumble, it’s okay! I don’t care whether you use MyFitnessPal, some other app, or just pen and paper, log everything you eat, and log every exercise you do DAILY, with a knowledge of what it will take to meet your goals, and it WILL work for you.

It WILL!!!!!!

Go get your health!

-BB

It completely passed me by that last week, I passed the two year mark of owning my health again…

IMG_0344.PNG

I’ll not bore you with lots of pics or anything on progress since my one year mark that I posted about last year. I just thought I’d post a brief update to show you that it absolutely is sustainable, as long as you decide it is.

My weight has been steady over this time period. My body composition has changed dramatically over the past year though. I’ve added muscle and lost fat. My performance, endurance, and athleticism have all improved significantly, and I continue to get better.

Oh, and I’ll be in my last year of my 30’s very soon…

It’s not too late for you. Whether you’re a teenager or approaching (or in) your senior years, you can reclaim your own health. It’s up to you.

It may not look exactly the same as my journey, I know. There may be physical limitations to what you can do, but there is, without a doubt, a pathway for you to reclaim your own health.

The toughest part of your body to get motivated to change is the 6 inches between your ears. You have to look in the mirror and make the decision every single day.

You also have to make the decision to forgive yourself for the days you don’t do well.

It might help to build in some flexibility to your eating. No one can sustain perfect eating all the time. I’ve said it many times, I have something as unhealthy as pizza more than once a week. I typically eat a very healthy breakfast and lunch. Dinner is typically healthy, or at least reasonable, but you can bet I’m gonna have a burger or fried chicken a couple of times per week.

I still log it. Every, single, day.

You CAN do it! Get a coach/accountability partner if you need to, but there are no shortcuts. None. Whatsoever. Discipline. hard work, and flexibility (not talking splits, I’m talking regimen and diet flexibility) are essential and mandatory. Not optional.
YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

-BB

 

To those who may be struggling with consistent weight loss, or perhaps just maintaining a healthy weight, read this article and hear this: If you eat 4000 calories worth of broccoli, brown rice and grilled chicken (on a consistent basis, that is) you will gain weight just the same as if you consistently eat 4000 calories worth of pizza or burgers.
 
Calories are calories, even the healthy ones. Too many calories of any kind will make you gain weight. A caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight, and eating to maintenance is the only way to stay the same. It’s a biomathematical law. Yeah, I just made that word up.
 
Whether you just want to lose weight, or whether you have other fitness goals to reach, you should be keeping a journal of everything that goes in your mouth, as well as every calorie you burn through exercise. Technology makes this so stinking simple. You can do it!
 
For the record, I eat pizza and burgers often. However, because I journal what I eat and stay accountable, I know I’m going to have to make it up, either through another meal, or through more exercise.
 
Again, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey friends,

I’ve started a website for a new venture I’m beginning since the closing of the martial arts studio my family was attending. I’m not making a full-time career change at all. This will be a part-time school in the evening, but I’d certainly appreciate you checking out the new site at www.lifetrekmartialarts.wordpress.com.
Thanks so much!

-BB

 

 Wow… Wow… WOW!!!!!

I began my lifelong journey of physical fitness exactly 365 days ago today. Today, as I type this out, I am 50 lbs. less of a man than I was 1 year ago!

Along the way, I’ve picked up some partners in phyiscal fitness… some who are beginning their own journey, and some who simply inspire me on mine, thanks to their level of commitment and accomplishment in their personal training. The partner I’m most happy about joining me is my wife! She has recently renewed her commitment, and has frankly been knocking the cover off the ball! I’m so proud of you baby!

I am so thankful for those who have encouraged me and joined me along the way. We all need accountability and encouragement. Especially me!

If you follow me on various social media accounts, you’ve probably grown weary of hashtags from me like #KeepPushing, #NextLevel, #Phase2 or other terms. These have been more for my own personal accountability to the journey than anything else. For those of you who are annoyed, well, I guess I’m sorry? For those of you who have been encouraged, believe me, many of you are an encouragement to me as well!

I have been in maintenance mode on my weight for several months now, and I’ve added strength training to my regimen. It started out as all cardio and food logging, and then I added the strength training once I was about 80% of my 50 lb. goal on weight loss. That’s when #Phase2 began, sometime in January. 


From here on out, I’ll post about it less on social media, but now, #Phase3 begins, which is simply the ongoing commitment to personal fitness.

This is about taking care of the body God has given me, and it’s about setting a great example for my family.

Folks, if I can do this, I really mean it… anyone can!

You DON’T need a gym membership (although we have since joined one), and you DON’T need to buy into some supplemental company’s pyramid scheme from your friends on facebook and twitter. If those will help you, great. I’m sure some of the products out their are legit, but NOTHING, not a personal trainer, not a shake, not a diet plan, or anything else will work until YOU decide to make a DAILY COMMITMENT to YOUR health.

I’m a big believer that you have to log every single piece of food you eat, even if you do it on a pad of paper, and you have to log every single exercise you do… and you HAVE to do it EVERY DAY.

Even on the days when you exceed your calorie goal. Really, it’s okay. It’s just accountability. Whether you CHOOSE to exceed or it genuinely happens by accident, log every salad, every piece of chicken, every hot dog and ice cream sammich. Log it all… every time. That way, you know where you’re at.

Oh, and you have to be honest about how much you’ve eaten and exercised. If anything, overestimate how many calories you’ve eaten, and underestimate the calories you’ve burned, because it’s WAY easier than you think to do the exact opposite and completely torpedo all of your efforts.

I have not been on a diet. I’ve eaten anything I want, but by logging, it makes me aware of where I’m at during the day. Most days, I log as soon as I eat or exercise, so that I know what I have left for the day. And, there have certainly been days that I decided to go run another mile or so, because I knew what I was going to be having for dinner that night 😉

I never have a “cheat day.” Rather, I just log what I eat, and stay accountable. Most days, I’m right around my calorie goal… some days, I’m not. I’m ok with it either way, and the accountability just keeps me on track.

In terms of exercise, folks, I literally started out with just walking. That’s it. I gradually added some jogging, cycling in the basement, and other things along the way. Walking will absolutely get the job done on calorie burn though… you just have to be willing to log several miles per week. The weight loss is really more about eating less calories than you expend, so if you’re willing to cut back on food enough, you can actually lose all the weight you want without ever taking a single, solitary step on exercise. The exercise just gives you some cushion on what you  can eat, and will help accelerate your weight loss.

Your weight loss will not be linear. It may look, according to that screenshot above, that I always lost weight. NOT TRUE! I only logged my weight on the days that I actually DID LOSE weight. On the days I gained back a pound or two, I just didn’t log those (I still logged my food and exercise every day though.) And, although I did weigh myself daily (and still do probably 3-4 times per week) I didn’t really worry whether one day was up or down…

Rather, I trusted the process. Trust the process of burning more than you eat, and YOU WILL lose weight, too. It’s just a mathematical fact for probably 99% of the population. It’s not your age, gender, this fad or that… Trust the process, and don’t look for a shortcut.

I’ve tried shortcuts… believe me… I know how tempting it can be when you’re desperate and without hope. The fact is,  there is hope… Day by day. Make the decision each day, and if you have a “bad” day (I’ve had PLENTY over the past year) just get back up again the next day and keep on logging. Every. Single. Day. Before you know it, 365 days will have passed, and you might see something like this. Check out a few before and afters:

Before:  

    
    

And now, AFTER!!!!!!!!!!

  
    

Guys and gals, I’m not selling a single, solitary thing here, except hard work, and personal commitment. Find your “why” for doing it, set short-term, achievable and realistic goals, and just keep building. Don’t even focus on the long-term goals at the outset. Just day by day. After you establish a pattern and habit of making it happen, say 6 to 8 weeks in, then you can start setting some mid-range goals, and then after, say, 6 months, it’s time to look longer term.

And log EVERY SINGLE THING YOU EAT. EVERY. SINGLE DAY.

And, log EVERY. SINGLE. WORKOUT.

Keep Pushing, my friends. Just keep pushing!

Blessings,

-BB

The kiddos have been asking about getting baptized. What a fun topic to discuss with a bunch of 7 year old children! I mean that both seriously and sarcastically, of course. The rabbit trails inherent with any conversation with just one 7 year old, let alone four of them can be challenging in itself, not even mentioning so deep a topic as baptism! 🙂

Yesterday, since we couldn’t get to church with the icy roads, we decided to “do church” at home, and this seemed as good a time as any to begin the conversation.

My wife and I began studying the topic with them from the Scriptures, but we did not use baptism as a starting point. Rather, we began in the Old Testament, studying the initial perfection of Creation, the subsequent Fall in Eden, and the sacrificial system set up after that. We spent time in Hebrews and Leviticus studying the necessity of blood for the forgiveness of sins.

We talked about the transition from the Old Law and the repeated sacrifices by the High Priest that could never really forgive sin, but rather pay for them for a time until Christ became our Great High Priest and gave the Once For All sacrifice through His blood on the Cross. How through one man (Adam) came sin and death, but through Christ came life and forgiveness.

We discussed the fact that it was God who made both the first sacrifice (the killing of animals to clothe the nakedness of Adam and Eve) and the final sacrifice (Christ’s death on the cross to finally and completely cover our sins).

We didn’t even really get into baptism. We just talked about this foundational theology. Sounds like a lot for some 7 year olds to grab onto, doesn’t it?

I didn’t have high expectations of retention for them at this point, but I quizzed them at the end of our study, and then again last night before we went to bed. I mean, I hit them with some pretty deep stuff. There’s no way they could retain all that, right?

WRONG…

I kept on nailing them, and even threw in a couple of questions I hadn’t really gone too in-depth with them on during our study just to see how they’d answer, and I’m telling you, with every question, they knocked it out of the park!

Our kids are smart…

Or, maybe this stuff just isn’t as hard to understand as I seem to think it should be for a 7 year old.

Either way, we’re pretty proud parents. We always knew they were smart kids, but good grief!

Next up, we’ll talk about grace, faith, works, and how all that plays with baptism, salvation, etc… You know: “What really saves us?” “Is baptism a work or a response of faith?” stuff like that…

It will be interesting to see how they process all that for sure…

Blessings,

-BB

My workout jams this morning were the sweet acoustic stylings of Shane and Shane. If you love Jesus and somehow haven’t heard of these guys, you gotta check ’em out. They’re good stuff!

Anyway, the song “The Answer” came on, and as I listened to the lyrics (which are inspired by the Apostle Paul’s declaration in Philippians 3.) I have found the answer is to love You and be loved by You…, the Holy Spirit laid our brothers and sisters overseas so heavily on my heart that I actually began to weep while on my stationary bike over those who are being persecuted and murdered by ISIS and other groups who hate followers of The Way.

My dear brothers and sisters, my prayer is that you would stay faithful and strong in the face of this evil being done to you. Know that you are indeed coming to know Jesus in the power of His resurrection, and you are indeed being known by Him. More than that, you are making Him known to the nations through your faithfulness.

I also pray that should I, or any of my family, ever be faced with the same kind of persecution, we would have such faith to remain strong, even if our lives depended on it.

Lord Jesus, come quickly!

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